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How to use Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons on PC

Built as an improvement over the Wiimote and Nunchuck from the Wii, the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons are some of the most comfortable controllers around. The ability to split the pair and let your arms rest at whatever distance you want was something most gamers didn't even know they wanted until they experienced it. However, the only way you could experience it was when playing on your Switch. Until now, that is.

Difficulty

Moderate

Duration

15 minutes

What You Need

  • Joy-Cons

  • PC with Bluetooth functionality

Thanks to the flexibility and customizable nature of PCs, gaming on your computer allows for just about any input method you can think of. While it was originally not very reliable, Joy-Cons are now able to mostly function as PC controllers without issue. If you're playing a title that is better served with a controller or simply want to take a break from a mouse and keyboard, here's how you can use your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons on a PC.

Four Joy-Con controllers next to a Switch.
Shutterstock by saksorn kumjit

How to connect Joy-Cons to your PC

Once you have your Joy-Cons and PC ready to go, the process of connecting the two is very simple. Here's how to do it.

Step 1: On your PC, go to Start > Devices > Bluetooth and make sure it is turned on.

Step 2: Hold down the Sync buttons on both your Joy-Cons until the four lights are flashing.

Step 3: Back on the PC, select Add a device.

Step 4: You will need to choose each individual Joy-Con one at a time from the list to connect them both.

Step 5: Select Done.

A Steam Collection shows a player's backlog.

How to use Joy-Cons with Steam

Just pairing your Joy-Cons isn't the final step, however. You do need to do a little bit more to get them working with your games. If you want to use them with games from your Steam library, here's how to do it.

Step 1: Open Steam.

Step 2: Go into the Settings and go into Account section.

Step 3: Opt in to the Steam beta updates.

Step 4: Restart Steam.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Joy-Con.

How to use Joy-Cons on all other games

If you have games you want to play outside of steam, you will need another way to get your computer to register your controller inputs. Here's the easiest way to do it.

Step 1: Download BetterJoy.

Step 2: Open and run the setup file to install the drivers.

Step 3: Once installed, run BetterJoyForCemu.

Step 4: You can now select how you want the PC to read your Joy-Cons. You can use them as a single pair or two individual controllers.

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